Gays in the U.S. Military - DADT policy
Reactions to the DADT
becoming law. 2010-DEC-22 to DEC-27
Reactions to the bill becoming law:
- On DEC-22, Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign -- a LGBT positive organization -- wrote:
"Today gay and lesbian patriots serving their country in silence, and thousands more who wish to serve the country they love, can breathe a sigh of relief that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is on its way out. Soon, all service members will be able to serve with the full honesty and integrity the uniform demands. No more careers will come to an end because of an unjust law. 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' has weakened our military readiness and is now on its way to the dustbin of history."
"After 17 years of this failed and discriminatory law, a stain has been removed from our nation. This historic day would not be possible without the leadership of President Obama, Defense Secretary Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen. In the U.S. House of Representatives, we are grateful to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Rep. Patrick Murphy for their dogged determination. And in the U.S. Senate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Sens. Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins, Kirsten Gillibrand and Mark Udall will go down in history as champions of this national security measure. Through their leadership, they have made our nation more secure and restored honesty and integrity as core values of our military."
"It's now incumbent on the president and the Pentagon to act expeditiously so that the final nail can be put in the coffin of this unjust and discriminatory law." 1
- Also on DEC-22, mtvU -- MTV's college network-- named Secretary of Defense Robert Gates as its "Man of the Year" because he: "became a role model for public service, proving that it's possible to work within an institution to impart change." The network commended the 67-year-old Republican for his focus on the youth, [lack of] gender bias, and the [ending of the] 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy.
Rapper Nicki Minaj was named "Woman of the Year" for outdoing her male counterparts in the rap field and "calling for an end to homophobia in hip hop." 2
- On DEC-22, Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said:
"In signing this bill today, President Obama delivered on a defining civil rights measure for our country and for gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members who have been silenced for far too long. Clearly, this is President Obama’s Lyndon Johnson moment in history. A measure of dignity has been restored to thousands of service members on active duty, and to over a million gay veterans who served in silence. This historic moment is about those service members and their service."
"President Obama was decisive and forceful in steering the course as he brought along critical stakeholders, including the Defense Department. Now, it’s on to finishing the job at the Pentagon. Troops remain at risk under the law. We respectfully renew our call for Secretary Gates to use his authority to suspend all 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' investigations and discharges during this limbo period. Until there is certification and until the 60-day implementation period is over, no one should be investigated or discharged under this discriminatory law." 3
- On DEC-23, the Family Research Council, a fundamentalist Christian advocacy group who advocates severely limiting the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transsexuals (LGBTs) posted a message on their blog:
"We'll be spending the next couple of weeks reassessing the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' debate. In fact, I've already been in conversations with Hill leaders about holding hearings in the New Year, as well as statutory and legislative oversight steps that can be taken to turn back aspects of the repeal and slow down – if not stop – the rest. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and others will be working with FRC to put a strict evaluation process in place. We want to ensure that the Pentagon is monitoring the effects of this radical change on the men and women in harm's way."
On Top Magazine reported that: "... A McCain source has denied the claim, saying “the law has been changed." 4
- On DEC-24, Miles Mogulescu of the Huffington Post wrote:
"... progressives have had far too few things to celebrate over the past several decades. And it's good for Democrats to come off like winners and let the Republicans be the whiners. So I'm happy to join the victory parade over these genuine accomplishments in the last week of the lame duck Congress. ..."
"As important as the repeal of DADT and passage of the 9/11 healthcare bill are, these are still second tier issues that will directly impact only a relatively small number of Americans. In the end the biggest issue -- the one that will impact the future of all Americans -- is still the economy, stupid. And when it comes to the economy, President Obama's policies remain largely corporatist." 5
- On DEC-27, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, a fundamentalist Christian anti-LGBT advocacy group, wrote a desperate appeal for more funds, saying:
"... it's important to recognize that for our adversaries here in Washington -- indeed they are your adversaries, as they have shown in the past two weeks -- very little remains sacred. Consider what we've just witnessed:
- After a two-year crusade to force radical social change on unwilling Americans . . . and after a mid-term election that rejected the leftist philosophy driving that crusade ... a lame-duck Congress merely accelerated the pace of their assault on your values.
- They ignored the protests of men and women in uniform in their campaign to allow open homosexual behavior in the military. ...
As FRC staff stayed at our posts, protecting your values in a hostile Washington, one thought that struck me was, 'The liberals will do anything to win. Pay any price. Go to any length'." 6
- On DEC-27, Elvin Lim of The Faster Times wrote:
"It would be remiss, then, to not point out the hypocrisy of those who defended “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” based on the “unit cohesion” argument. It would appear the only people whose morale were affected by the repeal of DADT are people who just aren’t comfortable being around gays and lesbians. This is a classic example of psychological transference. The unit cohesion argument is too often, a smokescreen for unreflective bigotry, as if a concern for military readiness was really what was at stake in the debate. The fact is that gay men and women have served in the military since the revolutionary war without incident, and openly serving gay men and women have served in militaries around the world, also without incident."
"If someone feels that they cannot serve their country well because they are serving alongside somebody with whom they cannot 'socially cohere,' this person should just get over it. It’s called an education. Too often in our history, even though the problem does not reside in disaffected members of the in-group, members of the out-group are the ones who have found themselves legally marginalized. Consider the callousness with which the Supreme Court opined in 1896, 'If one race be inferior to the other socially, the Constitution of the United States cannot put them upon the same plane.' In effect, the racist majority in the Court had decided that if there was an 'inferior' race, it wasn’t the fault of the 'superior' race that the world is just as it is. Just like that, racial segregation was deemed constitutional and morally legitimate."
"The history of 'Separate but Equal' and 'Don’t Ask Don't Tell' teaches us that when we fail to ask, or to interrogate the spuriousness of reasons offered in defense of irrational public policies, then irrationality prevails and it can continue to do so for decades. When we ask, we invite fellow citizens to consider their unspoken premises and their unreflective fears. That has always been how America, a country born during the Enlightenment, managed to emerge from our dark ages." 7
More news coming, but it may take a while. In the meantime, DADT is still in force.
If you are a lesbian, gay or bisexual active servicemember, keep your head down and remain in the closet for now.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Victory! President signs "Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal into law," Human Rights Campaign, 2010-DEC-22, at: http://www.hrc.org/
- "Robert Gates is man of the year," Huffington Post, 2010-DEC-22, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
- "Breaking: President Obama signs 'Defining Civil Rights Measure' allowing for the repeal of DADT," Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, 2010-DEC-22, at: http://www.sldn.org/
- "John McCain Denies FRC Claim That's He's Working To Undo DADT Repeal," On Top Magazine, 2010-DEC-23, at: http://www.ontopmag.com/
- Miles Mogulescu, "Holiday Cheers for DADT Repeal, 9/11 Healthcare, and START, But It's Still the Economy, Stupid," Huffington Post, 2010-DEC-24, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
- Tony Perkins, "The Left went all out -- will you," mailing, Family Research Council, 2010-DEC-27.
- Elvin Lim, "Political analysis: The repeal of DADT," The Faster Times, 2010-DEC-27, at: http://thefastertimes.com/
Copyright © 2010 by Ontario Consultants on
Originally written: 2010-MAY-25
Latest update: 2011-JAN-01
Author: B.A. Robinson